TOLEDO, Ohio (IndyIndians.com) - Left fielder Jeff Larish launched a three-run home run to cap a four-run fourth inning on Wednesday night and lead the Indianapolis Indians to a 4-3 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Bank.
Larish's longball -- just his second of the season -- was to the opposite field, disappearing beyond the left-field fence. Both RF Brandon Boggs, who had walked, and 3B Yamaico Navarro, who singled, scored on the blast that proved to be the only extra-base hit of the night for Indianapolis.
It was the first hit for Larish since July 28 at Buffalo. The outfielder has spent several stints on the Indians disabled list throughout the season. His other home run came on June 5 in Pawtucket.
Prior to Larish's home run, 1B Matt Hague scored on Navarro's single to put the Indians up 1-0. Hague had led off the fourth inning with a single of his own.
A plethora of Indianapolis pitchers paraded to the mound to make that lead stand up. A day earlier, the Indians had used just four pitchers to shut out the Mud Hens; on Wednesday, six hurlers made their way to the mound.
Starter Jeff Locke (4.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K) allowed just three hits and three walks while striking out seven over 4.2 shutout innings but was pulled in the fifth having thrown 78 pitches, 47 for strikes. LHP Justin Wilson (0.1 IP, 1 K) then closed out the fifth with a strikeout.
RHP Bryan Morris (0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1) started the sixth inning and allowed the first Toledo run of the game DH John Lindsay, who had doubled, scored on a groundout. RHP Jose Diaz (1.1 IP, 1 H, 3 K) relieved Morris and allowed just one hit while recording three strikeouts and pitching through the seventh. Because Locke did not pitch long enough to qualify for a decision, Diaz earned the win for Indianapolis, his first of the season.
In the eighth inning, RHP Even Meek (1.0 IP, 1 BB, 1 HB, 2 K) allowed a walk and hit a batter but struck out two Mud Hens in a scoreless frame. Things then got interesting in the ninth inning when Tribe closer Tim Wood took the hill.
A fielding error and a double put C Bryan Holaday and 1B/2B Ryan Rayburn on third and second, respectively with just one out before 3B/CF Don Kelly singled to drive in both runners and pull the Mud Hens within 4-3 of the Indians. Lindsay was then hit by a pitch and, on a strikeout, Kelly and PR Argenis Diaz pulled off a double steal to move both the tying and game-winning runs into scoring position.
Wood (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) then dialed up a game-ending strikeout of LF Jerad Head, however, to earn his 21st save of the season, the second-most in the International League. It was a roundabout way to do so, but Wood ended up striking out the side in the ninth.
For Toledo, RHP Brooks Brown (5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 1 WP) allowed all four Indianapolis runs and took his fourth loss of the season.
Although he tallied neither a run or an RBI, SS Brock Holt continued his torrid hitting, going 3-for-5 in the contest. It was Holt's third-straight three-hit game; in his past six games, Holt has batted .538 (14-for-26) with two RBI and five runs scored.
In Thursday's 6:30 p.m. series finale, the Indians will likely send RHP Kyle McPherson (0-1, 0.98) to the mound to face off against projected Toledo starter LHP Adam Wilk (7-11, 2.76).
The game will be carried on WNDE 1260 AM-WFBQ-HD2, WNDE.com and via iheartradio, a mobile application for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones with Howard Kellman and Will Flemming on the call. The pre-game show begins at 6:10 p.m.
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